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Bordeaux Blends

One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine...

One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington, and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde river, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful, and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb, or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

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    Mullan Road Cellars Red Blend 2014
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Columbia Valley, Washington
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    Thorn-Clarke Shotfire Quartage 2014
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Barossa Valley, Barossa, Australia
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      Priest Ranch Coachgun 2013
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
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      Castell d'Encus Quest 2014
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Spain
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      Chateau La Cabanne (Futures Pre-Sale) 2016
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Pomerol, Bordeaux, France
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      Avennia Gravura 2015
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Columbia Valley, Washington
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      Chateau Bellevue (Futures Pre-Sale) 2016
      Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
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      Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou (1.5 Liter Futures Pre-Sale) 2016
      Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Julien, Bordeaux, France
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      Casarena Estate Red 2015
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Mendoza, Argentina
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      Chateau Pipeau 2000
      Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
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      Hertelendy Audere Red Blend 2013
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
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        Trinity Hill The Trinity 2013
        Bordeaux Red Blends from Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
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          Chateau Haut-Bailly La Parde de Haut-Bailly (Futures Pre-Sale) 2017
          Bordeaux Red Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
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          Chateau Canon La Gaffeliere 2014
          Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
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          Donna Olimpia 1898 Tageto 2014
          Bordeaux Red Blends from Tuscany, Italy
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            Chateau Montrose La Dame de Montrose (Futures Pre-Sale) 2016
            Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Estephe, Bordeaux, France
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            Donati Family Vineyards Ezio 2014
            Bordeaux Red Blends from Paicines, Central Coast, California
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              Andrew Will Winery Champoux Vineyard Horse Heaven Hills 2012
              Bordeaux Red Blends from Horse Heaven Hills, Columbia Valley, Washington
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              Chateau Simard Saint-Emilion 2010
              Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
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              Chateau Lynch-Bages (1.5 Liter Futures Pre-Sale) 2016
              Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
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              Chateau Branaire-Ducru (Futures Pre-Sale) 2016
              Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Julien, Bordeaux, France
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              Chateau Pey La Tour 2015
              Bordeaux Red Blends from Bordeaux, France
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              Chateau Figeac (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2015
              Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
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              Meerlust Rubicon 2014
              Bordeaux Red Blends from South Africa
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                Chateau Duhart-Milon (Futures Pre-Sale) 2016
                Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
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